Written by contributor Jena Borah of Yarns of the Heart
Do you know about summer setback? Education researchers say a child can lose up to two months of reading achievement between May and August. If this happens every summer, children can lose up to a year and a half between 1st and 6th grade (Cooper et al., 1996).
Why? Because their home lives are not full of books and enriching experiences. Whatever learning momentum they had gained during the school year comes to a screeching halt. When I heard that, I was amazed! We homeschoolers never stop learning.
As I thought about these two worlds, the homeschooling world and the summer setback world, I realized the difference is us, the parents. Homeschooling parents are paying attention to their kids and taking responsibility for their education. We’re not leaving it up to someone else. We don’t put learning on hold until it starts back up in the fall.
So, here’s to you, homeschoolers! And here’s a little help to keep that momentum going all year long.
Finding the Right Books
Database of Award Winning Children’s Literature: Here you can choose parameters like your child’s age, interests, genre, and historical period. All the titles will be award-winners from around the world.
Arbookfind: Type in the name of your child’s favorite book that he can read with ease and this search engine will tell you the BL or book level. Along the left sidebar you will find links to take you to more books at that level.
Lexiles: Type in the name of a favorite book that your child can read with 99% accuracy. This search engine will give you the lexile level of that book. Now you can find other books at that level.
Scholastic: Find books based on your child’s lexile (see instructions above). Don’t worry about grade levels. Click on the lexile range for your child and recommendations will pop up.
I’m writing more about how to find the right books on my blog this month, so if you need more guidance, see here.
Spend this hot summer at the library, armed with a list of books your child can read, and don’t forget to let him bring home whatever interests him, even if it seems too advanced.
Opportunity and Exploration.
Those are the keys to avoiding summer setback.
How are you keeping learning alive this summer?
Cooper, H., Nye, B., Charlton, K., Lindsay, J., & Greathouse, S. (1996). The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 66, 227-268. http://rer.sagepub.com/